Becoming a minimalist involves convincing ourselves of just one thing.
There is enough.
Marketing would have us believe that we will never be enough or have enough. A recent trip to the thrift store revealed that there is a book out there to cure every problem we could possibly drum up. It made me MAD.
I stopped buying books about how to fix my image. As a woman I struggled for a time letting go of fashion and then it didn’t matter. I realized that people simply don’t pay that much attention to what others wear unless it’s outlandish. No one has really noticed that I stopped wearing makeup and quit coloring my hair. I didn’t give up on taking care of myself. Instead I drink more water, exercise, and eat a plant-based diet high in nutrients. I glow. So books about losing weight, exercise, or fashion don’t exist for me.
I stopped buying books on decorating. Becoming a minimalist has afforded me wall space. I don’t have knickknacks and I don’t buy things to fill up space. It’s space. It’s attractive. There is no need to impress my friends because they are very impressed with how much space I have in my home and how peaceful that makes everything.
I stopped buying books on organization. Time management isn’t a problem because I make it a point not to pack my days with things that don’t matter. I’m not lazy. I’m picky. Busy is an addiction. In my opinion people think that busy makes them important, says that they are worthy because they are so productive. Blah blah blah. Bull. Some people are afraid of silence. Some people just like to be busy. Some people don’t know how to leave chaos behind. I don’t organize. Minimalism along with a plan for Zero waste works.
I stopped buying project books. For gifts I have a few basic things that I make for people that they usually request every year for birthdays and Christmas. Beyond that I don’t do well at following patterns and I don’t have much patience doing anything complicated. If there happens to be something that I truly need to research I scour the internet and there is always something that works. I don’t have to spend time reading an entire book, spend money, or store anything.
I stopped buying Spiritual-based books. For every religion there are so many online resources for reading, listening, and watching that there is never a reason to really buy a book unless it’s the foundation book for your faith such as the bible etc. If you can’t find the exact book for free by searching the author name with pdf behind it, you will most likely find a transcript or video of a speech by the same author that covers virtually the same material. Most spiritual groups have oodles of online information that would take you years to get through without ever buying a book.
If only we as a society could find the courage to stop feeding into marketing and believing that we always need more or to be more. I found it in me only when I had come to a point in my life that it simply makes me sick to think about buying something because someone else deemed it worthy. Some things are worth buying after careful examination. I tried to have a rule of buying absolutely no books period. It’s not necessarily realistic. Every once in a while you come across an author that makes you want to read the whole story. That’s when your heart not your insecurities say yes. Becoming a Minimalist has taught me that thoughtful buying and consuming involves careful consideration of one’s motivation.
My mother was a person that was admired by her family as well as her community. She was kind, courageous, sharp witted, and loved almost.everyone. She died with a bookshelf full of self-help books that always made me wonder why she thought she was lacking. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve oneself.
There’s also nothing wrong in believing that there is enough.
We are enough.